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Outreach Opportunities for Penn Scientists


The Penn Science Teacher Institute (Penn STI) is a National Science Foundation funded Math and Science Partnership "Teacher Institute for the 21st Century". Beginning with our Master of Chemistry Education Program in 2000 we have continued to be successfully funded by NSF, now as the Penn STI.

The Penn STI currently offers two masters degree programs for working professional science educators: Master of Chemistry Education (MCE) for high school science teachers now accepting its tenth cohort; and Master of Integrated Science Education (MISE) for middle grades teachers of science now accepting its fifth cohort.

Within our programming, we have numerous outreach opportunities for Penn scientists. These vary from a high degree of involvement over a sustained period of time (e.g., joining our team of course instructors) to limited involvement (e.g., serving as a reader for a Capstone Project or thesis).

We would also be happy to discuss with you ideas that you may have, as we are always eager to offer new opportunities for increasing science content knowledge to the numerous pre-college science educators in the mid-Atlantic region.

Outreach Opportunities Associated with the Degree Programs --

Within the two degree programs, Master of Chemistry Education (MCE) Program for high school science teachers and Master of Integrated Science Education (MISE) Program for middle grades teachers of science, there are opportunies for differing levels of involvement. For example:

  • Course Instructors (extensive level of involvement) Courses are offered during 8-week or 4-week sessions in the summer, late June through mid-August -- or -- one Saturday/month during the academic year. Instructors also meet monthly during the academic year to coordinate courses, review student work and participate in their own professional development centered on teaching and learning science utilizing research-based promising practices.
  • Thesis Mentors or Capstone Readers (short term, focused involvement) Both of these opportunities occur beginning each spring (April/May) and run through late summer. Annually, we look across the Penn scientist community for MISE Capstone readers. Depending on the variety of real-life applications of chemistry selected by the high school teachers, the MCE thesis advisor may also be looking for mentors. The thesis/capstone is a library-research project based on a real-life application of science selected by the teacher. Each requires a science content component and a pedagogical component. The Science Mentor or Reader works with the teacher on only the science content component.

Other Outreach Opportunities --

  • Two-day workshops (moderate, focused involvement): The Penn STI currently has funding from the Dreyfus Foundation to provide financial support for the co-development and co-presentation (along with one of our best MCE graduates) of two-day workshops on focused topics in chemistry. From the chemistry department, Dr. Ivan Dmochowski, Dr. Jeffery Saven and Dr. Tobias Baumgart have already participated. Their workshops were: Teaching Difficult Chemistry Concepts with Fun and Easy Demos, Modeling Molecules: From Historic Perspectives to State-of-the-Art, and Thermochemistry: Important (mis?)Conceptions. We are always in need of new faculty to develop new chemistry focused workshops!
  • One-day workshops (moderate, focused involvement): The Penn STI is interested in helping you co-develop and co-present (with one of our best graduates) a workshop on your research and/or instrumentation. The co-development and co-presentation with a working professional pre-college educator ensures that your workshop will be well received by its pre-college audience.

We encourage you to consider linking the outreach component of your proposal to our successful NSF funded Math and Science Partnership "Teacher Institute for the 21st Century". Working with the Penn STI could enable you to have the broader impact that NSF is now looking for in this component of scientific research proposals. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you!




MCE Program Information

MISE Program Information

Workshop Information

If you are interested in talking with us about the Outreach Component of your proposal, please contact us at:

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Funded through NSF EHR 0412404  

Penn Science Teacher Institute
Dr. Larry Gladney, Director
University of Pennsylvania, Department of Chemistry
231 South 34 Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6323